Violence against women and child marriages marked a sharp rise in Bangladesh during the first ten months of 2020, according to BRAC.
In a release on Tuesday it said over 25,000 Complaints of Gender-Based Violence were received by BRAC Legal Aid Services in Bangladesh until October this year.
Of these complaints, 15,047 were resolved through alternative dispute resolution; legal counsel was provided to 3,239 survivors, and 1,724 complaints led to civil and criminal cases being filed. In addition, almost $USD 4 million in dowry money was recovered for survivors.
The number of child marriages reported by Polli Shomaj in the first 10 months of 2020 grew by 68%, compared to the same period in 2019. There was also a 72% rise in the number of child marriages prevented by the women’s groups during the same period.
In the third quarter of 2020, with COVID-19 widespread, the number of child marriages prevented was 219% higher than the same period in 2019. The number of child marriages prevented rose by 571% from the first quarter of 2020 to the third quarter of 2020.
The release said the survey was released as part of its 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. The 16 Days are recognized annually 25 from November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.. It will end with the Human Rights Day on 10 December.
The rise in child marriage is particularly concerning because child brides are more likely to experience gender based violence, according to BRAC.
Globally, girls who marry before the age of 15 are almost 50% more likely to experience physical or sexual violence from a partner than girls who married after 18. Child brides are also more likely to believe that a man is justified in beating his wife.
BRAC or the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee is the world’s largest international development organisation based in Dhaka.